Henry's Songbook

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Paddy And The Whale

  • (Trad)

    Caterwaulin', tarpaulin
    Harpoonin' and all

    Paddy Maloney left Ireland in glee
    He had a strange notion to sail the Ross Sea
    He shipped in a whalecatcher South Georgia bound
    And the way that she pitched made his head go around

    Paddy had never been whaling before
    It made his heart leap when he heard the loud roar
    The lookout he cried that a whale he had spied
    Begod, says poor Pat, I'll be ate by and by

    Now Paddy run for'ard and reached for the mast
    He caught it a gripper and there he held fast
    The boat gave a tip and poor Pat lost his grip
    And into the whale's belly the silly fool slipped

    He was in that whale's belly six months and a day
    Till one morning by luck to its throat he made way
    The whale gave a hoosh, boys, and then she did blow
    And a mile in the air went old Paddy Maloney

    Paddy got spat out quite safe on the shore
    He swears that he'll not go to sea any more
    And the next time he follows a venturesome notion
    It'll be when the railway runs over the ocean

    (as sung by A.L.Lloyd)

    Tune: Erin Go Bragh / The Cobbler's Ball

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1967:] Chase of finn and blue whales, Antarctic, 1890s.
    By the 1880s, [...] the famous Balaena was prospecting for entirely new whaling grounds in the Antarctic. In 1893, the Balaena reported plenty of finn whales down in the Southern ice, but she could do little about them. However, shortly after, modern Antarctic whaling began, with fast steam catcher-boats using the harpoon cannon (invented by a Norwegian, Svend Foy, in 1860, but little used until some twenty years later). The new methods meant that the big fast whales of the Antarctic, such as finns and blues, could now be taken by the thousands. The old hand-harpooning Moby Dick days were over; the epoch of heavily industrialised whaling in the service of great monopoly companies such as Unilever was dawning. [...] From the latter days of whaling, this jokey remake of the Jonah legend. South Georgia lies [in the Falkland Islands (Malvinas)] east of Cape Horn, towards the fringes of the Antarctic. Till recently there was a land station there, to which the whales were brought for flensing and processing. Presumably Paddy and the Whale originated late in the nineteenth century, though it's debatable whether it was a sea-song first and a stage-song after, or t'other way round. Irish stage comedians knew it, and perhaps it was one of them who set the words to the tune of The Cobbler's Ball. (Notes A. L. Lloyd, 'Leviathan!')

  • [1994:] Some [whaling songs of the last century] were fanciful, like Paddy and the Whale, in which Paddy slipped down the whale's belly and stayed there for six months and five days until, like Jonah, he was coughed up on to dry land:

            And now that he's safely back home on the shore
            He swears that he'll never go whaling no more
            And the next time he's wishful for Greenland to see
            'Twill be when the railways run over the sea    (Smith, Whale Hunters 38)

Quelle: England

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aktualisiert am 01.05.2002